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Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s second feature film Black has been selected for the official competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, which takes place from 13-29 November. The contemporary Romeo & Juliet story will have its European première in Estonia. The festival programme also includes Benjamin Deboosere’s Blue Birth, showing with Gust Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird, on which the documentary is based.
Black premiered in Toronto, taking home the festival’s Discovery Award, followed by sold-out screenings at the Film Fest Ghent where the film won the Audience Award. This November, the directing duo’s film travels to Tallinn where Black is to have its European premiere in the main competition of the Black Nights Film Festival.
This year’s International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) presents a batch of new and recent documentary work by Marie Brumagne & Bram Van Cauwenberghe, Sarah Vanagt, Dries Depoorter, Isabelle Tollenaere and Rachida El Garani. Dutch-Flemish co-production A Family Affair opens the Festival on November 18.
Into Darkness by Rachida El Garani has been invited for both the Student Competition and the Kids & Docs Competition at IDFA. The director’s graduation short is about Mohamed, an 11-year-old Moroccan boy whose only dream it is not to turn blind, as have 11 of his family members. Living in poverty and excluded from society, the deeply religious family tries to keep their hopes and dreams alive.
Maria Tarantino’s Our City is one of 10 documentaries shortlisted for Les Magritte du Cinéma, Belgium’s French-speaking industry awards. A lyrical portrait of Brussels, the film is also the only Flemish film selected for official competition at the International Film Festival of French-Speaking Film in Namur, Belgium, where it was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury.
Our City is a kaleidoscopic portrait and shows Brussels, the capital of Europe, to be a city of concrete cages wrapped in glass, planned by businessmen and politicians, set in motion by construction workers and animated by office people. But, in the narrow spaces just beyond the reach of bureaucracy, lies a Brussels that still breathes.
Pieter Van Hees’s crime thriller Waste Land and Peter Krüger’s poetic docu-drama N – The Madness of Reason were the main winners at this year’s Ensors, the awards celebrating Belgian cinema from Flanders, taking home four and three Ensors respectively.
Waste Land won Best Script, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Van den Begin) and Best Supporting Actress (Babetida Sadjo). Waste Land’s success was not a huge surprise, as the film also had the highest number of nominations. But it was the docu-drama N: The Madness of Reason that grabbed the top honour: Best Film.
Cafard by Jan Bultheel and Reach for the Sky by Steven Dhoedt and Choi Wooyoung are to premiere at this year's Busan International Film Festival (1-10 October). This as part of the Wide Angle: Animation and the Wide Angle: Documentary Competition programs respectively.
Cafard, which received its world premiere at this year's Film Festival of Ostende, Belgium, is based on historical facts. The story of this animated feature with a graphic novel look and feel starts in 1914. While Jean Mordant wins the Wrestling Champion of the World title in Buenos Aires, his daughter Mimi is violently abused by German soldiers in Ostend. Determined to avenge this crime Jean, along with his coach and young nephew, enrols in the prestigious Armoured Car Division (AMC). War is ruthless, however, and he and his friends embark on a dramatic journey that will ultimately drag them around the world.
Maurits Wouters’s experimental documentary The Movement of Phill Niblock has been invited to FIDMarseille, the International Film Festival of Marseille (30 June – 6 July). The film has its world premiere as part of the First Films programme.
The film is a portrait of drone-based composer, structural filmmaker and New York 1960s icon/curator Phill Niblock. In creating a portrait of Niblock, Wouters also aims to capture the zeitgeist of downtown Manhattan in the 1960s and 1970s.
The German-Belgian documentary Before The Last Curtain Falls received its American premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival where it won the Best Pink Peach Feature Award. Recently, the film also claimed the Grand Prize at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal, one of the world’s most prestigious art film festivals.
In the documentary, German-Canadian director Thomas Wallner follows a group of Flemish transsexual actresses and drag queens, all in their sixties and seventies, as they prepare to shine on stage one last time. Their stories became the foundation of the theatre piece Gardenia, directed by Alain Platel and Frank Van Laecke, which took them on tour around the world.
On April 17, Twilight of a Life by Sylvain Biegeleisen is to open the International Documentary Film Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. The festival programme also includes Battles, The Rabbit and the Teasel and the short film On Difference As Such. A fifth documentary from Flanders, The Colour of the Chameleon, has been selected for the Pitching du Réel co-production platform. Visions du Réel runs from 17-25 April.
Twilight of a Life is an upbeat portrait of a 94-year-old woman confronting the restrictions of her age, and the relationship she has with her son and the film’s director. Although doctors once gave her just weeks to live, she lived another two years. For her son, this became an opportunity to create a film about life, full of humour and emotion.
Kristof Bilsen’s documentary feature Elephant’s Dream has been selected for Hot Docs, the International Documentary Festival in Toronto. The film is to have its North American premiere in the World Showcase programme. Hot Docs is one of the world’s leading documentary film festivals and presents over 200 films from 44 countries between 28 April and 8 May.
The World Showcase section is a global survey of some of the year’s most striking films. The Festival describes Bilsen’s creative documentary as ‘a modern masterpiece that is not to be missed’. Elephant’s Dream, the story of public sector workers in three state-owned institutions, provides a poetic insight into a country in transition and into lives lived beyond chaos.
CELLS, a documentary feature by Wil Mathijs, has been selected for the Official Competition of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). One of the leading art film festivals, FIFA takes place in Montreal, Canada, and runs from 19-29 March.
67-year-old Martin Uit den Bogaard, the main protagonist in CELLS, is one of the world’s most renowned bio-artists. He's a simple man with a far from simple plan: to get his hands on a new human body-part to use in his work, while he wrestles to obtain the rights to his own body for his ultimate and final piece, which will come only after his death.